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Non-bank funds take the top spots for KiwiSaver satisfaction

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Consumer NZ’s annual KiwiSaver satisfaction survey has found three funds stood out from the crowd, with Simplicity, Milford Funds and Generate taking out the top spots.

Simplicity won for the third year in a row with 77% satisfaction, scoring well for fees and charges (61%), return on investments (58%) and ethical investments (66%).

Milford Funds took second place this year - 67% of its customers were very satisfied with the service they were getting. Milford scored particularly well for access to account information (82%) and keeping you updated about your investment (80%).

Generate came second equal for overall satisfaction (67%). It also scored above average for investment returns and keeping you updated about your investment.

BNZ was the only major bank to rate above average for overall satisfaction, scoring 64%. It rated below average for return on investment but scored above average for dealing fairly with problems and complaints (49%).

Westpac rated 54% while ANZ and ASB came in last, at 47%. Both banks scored below average on keeping their customers updated about how their investment was doing.

"It been a tough year for KiwiSavers as they’ve watched their balance go down due to market volatility, and satisfaction ratings have taken a hit this year," Consumer chief executive Jon Duffy said.

"Industry wide, KiwiSavers are reporting a lacking transparency about fund performance and fees they’re paying.

"Non-bank funds are standing out when it comes to performance, so the major banks do have some work to do to lift their standards and come up to speed."

Information gap

While New Zealanders had invested $81.6 billion in KiwiSaver by March 2021, just 19% felt very confident they would have enough money in their account when they retired.

Three out of four KiwiSavers didn’t know what they paid in fees while 60% didn’t know how well their fund was doing compared with others on the market. Those with ANZ (71%), BNZ (72%) and Westpac (70%) were significantly less likely to know how their fund performed.

Only one in four felt it was very easy to compare KiwiSaver providers.

Ethical investment

Consumer research found 45% said they wanted a fund that provides a good return and invests responsibly - both were equally important. A further 13% want a fund that invests responsibly, even if it provides a slightly lower return. Most people were unsure whether their provider invested in ‘sin stocks’, such as gambling, tobacco and weapons.

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